By Janice Eck
Photos by Janice Eck
(Victor Valley)– The Orange County Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa is a familiar setting for Orange County Fair-Goers, Farmers Market and Marketplace visitors, and Food Truck connoisseurs, but for one weekend every year (this year from April 10 – 12) the fairgrounds are transformed into a world for pet owners with pet adoptions, animal rescue agencies, new and featured pet products, breed displays and an abundance of attractions. The Pet Expo is a great time for good ol’ family fun as dogs show off their agility skills, goats and llamas play with children in the petting zoo, a little girl holds a boa constrictor for the first time or families simply walk through the hangers and breezeways to find their favorite breed or their next pet all while enjoying their favorite fair food like turkey legs or cotton candy.
With animal actors in the Free-Flight Bird Show, police dog demonstrations, Reptile Show and Sales presented by Repticon, the touch tank in Aquatics, pig races, and so much more, attractions were definitely not in short supply for families to enjoy the day in between all the breeds on display and pet products to browse through.
For first-time visitor, Jeannie Tran, the Pet Expo was an experience she won’t soon forget as she shared her thoughts about the Pet Expo with High Desert Daily, “There were so many booths to visit and so many animals to see, I was definitely overwhelmed. I’d go again especially if I was in the mind frame to rescue another dog or look for new and upcoming items for my dog. Overall, it made me more aware and understand the importance of spaying or neutering your pet, and to adopt or rescue, not buy a pet.”
Pet adoptions always play a significant role at the Pet Expo as rescues and different adoption agencies bring their adoptable pets in hopes of finding lifelong homes for them. Many of the rescues will bring a dozen pets or more, but Siberian Husky rescue, Alleys Rescued Angels located in Apple Valley, had just one beautiful red and white Siberian male when I stopped by their booth. Alley Ramirez, Founder, explained why with High Desert Daily, “We have a couple more dogs on the way, but this event is a little more stressful for Siberians. Because of the home checks, we bring a couple at a time. I have people transporting dogs down from Apple Valley all throughout the weekend.”
Plenty of dog breeds were on display to educate visitors about the pros and cons of the particular breed. Since so many of the rescues and adoption agencies at the Pet Expo are focused on finding furever homes for the pets, some potential adopters learn enough to deter them from adopting the breed as Ramirez added, “We have people out here that can educate people on why maybe they shouldn’t have a Husky. A lot of people come through wanting one and we’ll talk to them then they’ll say, ‘You just talked me out of getting one.’ So I tell them we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t give them the truth.”
The Pet Expo is more than a place to tickle your pet fancy. It’s a place where you can get facts and expert advice about pets and pet products and find out why a certain pet you thought would be the best fit for you isn’t, but another one might be. Watching various animals show off their skills doesn’t hurt either. Be sure to catch America’s Family Pet Expo next year!